Your Favorite Fish, The Perch!

Zainab Jimoh- Vu PAP Bio 3

About the Perch

Perca flavescens

Perches are commonly found in the fresh waters of Eurasia and North America. They are well know fish and are popular for both food and and as sport fish. Classified as carnivores, they inhabit quiet ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams.

Perch often school (group together), especially in deep water. They come into shallow water to feed at dawn and dusk. In the summer, Yellow Perch spend more time in shallow water than any other time of year.


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Family: Percidae

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Peridae

Genus: Perca

Species: flavescens


In this lab, students will....

  • observe the structures and functions of the perch
  • become familiar with the external and internal structures of the perch
  • focus on the functions of the endocrine or circulatory system of the perch



The role of the perch in its environment is to keep the food web it is apart of continuing.

The Circulatory System

It consists of the Heart, atrium, ventricle, efferent branchial artery, afferent branchial artery, renal artery, mesenteric artery, hepatic artery, anterior cardinal vein, posterior cardinal vein, hepatic vein, hepativ portal vein, renal vein, dorsal aorta, sinus venous

The circulatory system of a Yellow Perch is a low pressure, single loop system. This means that there is only one direction of blood flow from the heart, which acts as a pump. Deoxygenated blood is pumped throughout the heart and goes onward to the gills. This is where the blood becomes oxygenated (in the gills), getting rid of carbon dioxide. From here the blood goes straight to the body. This makes up one single circuit of the blood flow: Blood pumped --> Oxygenated --> distributed throughout the body --> returns to heart. Blood pumped from the heart in this type of circulation is purely deoxygenated.
The perch has different types of circulations which include...
  • The Branchial Circulation- blood enters through the gills of the Perch from the afferent branches of the ventral aorta and circulate through the afferent and efferent branchial arteries to the dorsal aorta
  • Systemic Circulation- this type of circulation in the fish is in charge of sending nourishment to all of the tissues within it except the heart because it has it's own circulation; this occurs towards the stomach of the fish
  • Closed System- Due to the Perch having a closed system, in a single loop within the fish the circulation continues from heart to gills to organs then back to the heart
There are five main components to the Perch’s circulatory system.

  1. The first is the two chambered heart which consists of four parts: sinus venosus, the atrium, the ventricle, and the bulbus arteriosus. The heart keeps the blood flowing and pumping through the fish, keeping the blood circulating in a single loop. Fish are constantly moving or swimming to maintain blood pressure. There is only one ventricle and atrium in the Yellow Perch, creating two chambers.
  2. There are many arteries within the Yellow Perch, these include: efferent branchial arteries, afferent branchial arteries, the ventral aorta, intestinal artery, gonadal artery, pneumatic artery, dorsal aorta, and the celiac artery. Blood enters the gills of the fish from the afferent branches of the ventral aorta. The aorta (ventral and dorsal) are the largest arteries in the fish, and distribute oxygenated blood.
  3. The veins inside the Yellow Perch consist of: the hepatic portal vein, intestinal vein, left posterior cardinal vein, and right posterior cardinal vein. Veins deliver deoxygenated blood to the heart.
  4. There are many very different nutrient rich capillaries branching off of the arteries and veins in the Yellow Perch. Capillaries are in charge of distributing oxygenated blood from arteries to the tissues of the body and to send deoxygenated blood from these tissues back into the veins. They are the smallest of these three types of blood vessels (arteries, veins, capillaries).
  5. The gills of the fish are extremely important to its circulation because this is where the blood becomes oxygenated.

Due to the Yellow Perch living in water and having different fins and gills, allows the fish to maintain it's blood pressure by constant movement in the water. If the fish was not able to maintain this pressure, it would not be able to survive with it's single looped system.

During the Dissection....

More Interesting Topics and Facts

Human Impact

Yellow perch are economically important in terms of a food source and recreation. Yellow perch support a commercial fishery in Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, and Lake Huron. The peak commercial catch of yellow perch in Lake Erie was 13,546 tones in 1969. The 1980 - 1984 Canadian yellow perch commercial catch represented 55% of the value of all fish landed in Lake Erie by Canada (Craig 1987; GLFC 1997; Jude and Leach ). Yellow perch are also a very popular sport fish that contributes lots of tourism and recreation dollars to the economy. About 85% of the sport fish caught in Lake Michigan are yellow perch (Francis et al 1996). Sport anglers' catch in Lake Erie in 1984 was 58 times larger than the commercial catch (Ruetter and Hartman 1988).

Life Facts

  • Average number of offsprings: 100,000
  • Average time for hatching: 16 days
  • Average Lifespan: 8-12 days
Bony Fish (Perch) Anatomy

Works Cited